Unitasker Wednesday: Tummy Tub Baby Bath

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

I’m starting to believe that kitchen and baby supplies account for 90 percent of the unitaskers in the world. Why, if it weren’t for cooking and outfitting little humans, there might not even be clutter! (Okay, so there still would be paper and clothing, but those might be more manageable if we could open our kitchen drawers and not be overrun with baby stuff.)

This week’s unitasker could be repurposed after your child weighed more than 35 pounds (that’s the ridiculous weight limit in the product description … and it’s ridiculous because any kid weighing 35 pounds can probably walk and talk and want nothing to do with sitting still in this thing), but so could a regular bucket that didn’t cost $35.50. As someone who simply put a thick towel in the bottom of the sink when she bathed her infant, I can only smile and laugh when I look at the Tummy Tub Baby Bath :

A $35 bucket … wow … someone out there is a genius at getting people to part with their money …

43 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Tummy Tub Baby Bath”

  1. posted by Jen on

    35lbs does sound crazy, but I bet you there are new parents out there who are thinking, wow, I’ll get to use this for a long time! I say this because I chose an infant car seat for my son that was rated up to 35lbs (this was a rear-facing only INFANT seat) because I figured hey, I’ll be able to use it longer than the other ones that are only rated up to 22lbs. Not realizing that 35lbs is a TWO YEAR OLD who will never fit in this seat (he was out of it I think around 8 months and on to the next seat). His current booster seat (which he’ll be in until he’s 8) is rated up to 100lbs – there are some adults who don’t weigh that much.

  2. posted by Jen on

    Ok, apparently I stumbled on a new-to-me emoticon. The smiley face was supposed to be an 8. 😉

  3. posted by Julie on

    “…if we could open our kitchen drawers and not be overrun with baby stuff.”

    I know it wasn’t the intent, but the image of opening a kitchen drawer and having baby stuff overflowing out of it is hilarious. (“No, honey! That’s not the cutlery drawer! That’s where we keep the Baby Bjorn!”)

  4. posted by Nana on

    Hmmm…I nice deep bucket so you have to keep one hand on the child at all times so s/he won’t slip down, while your other hand has to snake around to get to all the little bits and pieces. Guess the kid will never need to be shampoo’ed.

    Another mom who bathed babies in the (bathroom, then kitchen) sink until they were 2 or so.

  5. posted by Jessiejack on

    Imagine the fun of trying to corral both legs into the bucket at the same time while the baby is grabbing the sides with octupus arms!

  6. posted by Steve on

    I had something similar to this and I liked it. I know it is an overpriced bucket, but I don’t care. Our daughter only fit in it for 6 months, though. Since then we’ve been using a regular baby bathtub we got at a yard sale for 3 bucks. It’s worth the “clutter” for me to not have to worry about whacking her in the head with a spout. Baby bath time is one of the highlights of my day.

  7. posted by cv on

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention the $54 “stool” that you can buy to put this thing on so that it’s a better height to use from a chair:


  8. posted by Karen (Scotland) on

    OK, quick defence of this. Some babies (my nephew being one of them, apparently) feel scared in a normal baby bath and, apparently, the shape of this makes them feel more secure and tucked up (like in the womb).
    I was given it once that nephew was too big and we tried to use it for our second baby. Who was chunky. Think Buddha…
    The funniest photo we have is that (chunky) baby sitting in the Tummy Tub. His face says it all. “What’s going on here then? I’m in a bucket?!”

    My sister-in-law swore by it as the only way to wash her baby without terrified screaming. I’m a little more doubtful.
    Karen (Scotland)

  9. posted by JC on

    I usually love the unitaskers because they are so funny.

    Unfortunately, my first thought about this one was a tragic drowning accident just waiting to happen. It’s deep with relatively narrow sides, and there is insufficient space for the adult to handle the child. It also reinforces a false sense of safety to curious, top-heavy children, when a bucket of water is a real safety hazard.

  10. posted by Celeste on

    My baby hated the long blue baby tub; she got chilly. Once her umbilical stump was gone, I just filled the tub and took her in there with me. Those are some of my best mother memories. We could cuddle, she could be floated and kick, and eventually she could sit up on her own and have the tub to herself. The only thing you really need for this is to have someone to hand you and take from you the naked baby, because it’s kind of hard to get in and out of the tub with one in my opinion.

    I felt like a separate baby tub was just one more thing to store and keep clean, so I’m down on them. I never used the kitchen sink because our kitchen is a miniscule galley and I just had no elbow room to set down the supplies I needed for a bath.

  11. posted by *pol on

    oh you opened up a can of worms starting to talk about babay products. You are set for unitasker-life now!

  12. posted by Stephanie on

    My mom actually bought this for me for my oldest son. I used it once with each child. Now it’s just garbage. It was used mostly as a throw-up bin. Funny thing was I already had a baby bath so it was very useless. People wonder about my decluttering but alot of it was given to me by others!

  13. posted by DawnF on

    @Stephanie – a throw-up bin! Too funny!! Well, at least you got some use out of it!

    My grandmother would have cracked up if she would have seen this thing. She often thought most of the modern baby products and gadgets were insane and totally unnecessary to raise a happy, healthy, well-rounded child. Grandma was usually right on!

  14. posted by infmom on

    No need for sinks, towels, or baby baths. The easiest and best way to bathe a baby is to run nice warm water in the bathtub, disrobe, get into it yourself and have someone hand you the baby. Lay the baby on your lap, wash to your heart’s content. No chance of a slippery baby getting away from you, and if you get peed on it washes right off. 🙂

    Then when the baby is clean you hand him or her back to the other person to dry off and dress, while you wash yourself off in peace.

  15. posted by Pitt on

    I saw a morning show segment highlighting this baby bath over a year ago, when my son was an infant, and I was just astounded at the price–think it used to be around $50 or so. The American distributor was going on about how it was very popular in Europe, blah, blah. I remember just shaking my head aout it. I just couldn’t get over the price considering it can only be used a few months (after 3 months or so, when babies start to get really squirmy, good luck getting them in there!). And my 3 year old son JUST topped 30 pounds, so the weight limit touted for this product is, agreed, ridiculous. For anyone set upon this concept, you could also just go to the dollar store and get a $1 bucket…

  16. posted by Kris on

    I echo JC’s thoughts – my first thought was how easily a child could drown in this! I washed my newborns in the sink, then as they got a bit older, took them in the tub with me and handed in/out to my husband. Baby and wedding items are such a racket!

  17. posted by henave on

    I love the picture on the website of the baby folded up in half sitting in there!

  18. posted by Nicole on

    It’s true, that if it weren’t for my kids and their stuff, and the need to cook , I’d have no clutter. (Well, maybe some mail clutter). That being said, even as an unclutterer, I’m still inexplicably drawn to baby stuff and kitchen gadgets and accessories. They just speak to my heart.

  19. posted by Doe on

    My first thought was how uncomfortable the mom looks. That squatting down thing would have turned me off big time.

  20. posted by Karen on

    How would a newborn, who can’t hold up his head, be put in that thing? You could only use it after the baby gets good neck control, and then as long as the kid fits in it. I had big babies, and they wouldn’t fit in that for long.

    Some of the pics of the babies using that product at Amazon are scary-the babies look smooshed in there and barely fit! How are you supposed to CLEAN the baby?

  21. posted by Miss Lynx on

    We actually had one of those when my son was a baby. My (now ex-) wife saw it somewhere and really wanted it. It actually did work fairly well, for a while – the idea is that it keeps the baby upright rather than lying down, so it’s theoretically supposed to be less of a drowning risk, and the shape is supposed to be womb-like and comforting or something like that.

    But I remember thinking even at the time “How is this different from an ordinary bucket?” I guess the shape is a little curvier, and it’s made from heavier plastic than a lot of buckets, but still…

    It was also only useful for a fairly short period of time. As someone else mentioned, once the baby hits the grabbing-stuff stage, good luck getting him into this!

  22. posted by Monique on

    My mother in law bought me a large bucket which was very similar to this (a whole lot cheaper though). We used it for both my boys for the first couple of months. They loved it and would totally relax in it. When they were finished with it I used the bucket for other things (being a bucket it had a handle so easy to carry). I totally wouldn’t pay that much for it though!

  23. posted by Viv on

    I know someone who brought this item back from Europe several years ago. After watching how babies don’t freak out the way they do in the bigger tub, people went nuts for it.

  24. posted by Ben on

    I quite like this part of the product description…;

    “womb-shaped and sized bath”

    Wow, that’s a large womb, judging by the photos!!

  25. posted by [email protected] on

    I’m in the “why baby bath?” camp. Used one of the two we ended up with for baby #1. With some experience, couldn’t be bothered and just used sink and then tub for baby #2.

    Me? I like the “mum” dressed in white and beige linen. Cause that’s just how I always dressed when I bathed our newborns too. Sorry, I mean how my husband dressed (I fed round the clock, so HE did all the bathing.)

  26. posted by Jesse on

    We used one for our daughter. We loved it. She loved it. I won’t go into why it worked so well; most commenters here appear too smug in their thriftiness to care.

  27. posted by Margaret on

    Jesse — how did you wash the baby’s hair? It looks like the water would splash out all over the floor and get in the baby’s face since you can’t lean her back.

  28. posted by maxie on

    We just used a small dishpan. Worse than that, before our son could sit up well, we set a cardboard box on the table that fit him perfectly so he could sit with us at dinner time. My MIL had palpitations over that one.

  29. posted by empty on

    Like Jesse, we used a similar bath for our daughter for a while–she loved it, we loved it. I think it cost $20 at the time, totally worth it. We bought and received a lot more “necessary” baby items that were used less and cost more.

  30. posted by Arthur on

    We had one of these when our son was a baby. It actually feels a lot safer handling a newborn in one of these than in a larger baby bath (or a full-blown bath for that matter). The trick is that these don’t actually fill with all that much water… just enough for the baby’s body to be all below, a few liters tops. Easily carried, easily kept stable. The price however… that’s another matter entirely.

    Note that it is not *just* a bucket: the inside is nicely curved so that there really is no edge for the baby to push at. True, it is clutterish. We had it on loan from friends, but owning one… never.

  31. posted by June Lemen on

    I thought the picture was hilarious — I thought it was such a ridiculously deep tub. To me, it looked very hard to manuever.
    My daughter is a Chinese adoptee, and we adopted her at age 10 1/2 months. She was quite small for her age, and not used to being bathed, so her first bath was with me holding her in a bathtub at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzho. Once we got her home, we bathed her in the kitchen sink, and certainly not every day. Her skin was far too dry (still is).
    I would never buy one of these. We never had a separate baby tub at all.

  32. posted by Marian on

    I have to defend this one. I bought one for our second (our oldest was 2 at the time and a boy). We used it from almost her first bath until she was about a year. It allowed me to bathe her while our son took a bath in the tub. She loved it, and yes she would stand up in it from way before she could stand, but she loved being all scrunched up in there. The only reason we stopped using it was because someone in our playgroup had their second baby and we passed it on to them. Honestly, 35 bucks for something we used daily and that was passed on and continued to be used was money well spent! Another plus was that it took a ridiculously small amount of water because it gets pushed up when you put the baby in. I would both buy it and recommend it…though probably not for a first child, but being able to bathe an infant (who would not fit in a sink…she was almost 9 lbs) and a 2 year old, by myself, was great.

  33. posted by Leah - Bogue Living on

    I must admit I REALLY wanted one of these and even went as far as bathing my newborn in a stock pot!!!! After a few short weeks one of those lying cradles worked great to bath him with his big sister at the same time and I am glad I didn’t spend the money … I think they are about $80aud, or they were close to it 2.5years ago.

  34. posted by Michelle on

    33 comments, including Erins, but only 9 of us have ever tried, or know someone who has tried tummytubs. 8 of us think they are a good product. That’s actually a pretty positive review for a “unitasker”, if you can see past all the assumptions others have made without ever trying it. As we saw recently with the jaffle iron/ pie maker, not all unitaskers are useless, and then again not all multitaskers are cheap. The tummy tub is expensive, yes, but good design and quality generally go hand in hand, and it can be sold afterwards. It’s more than just a baby bath, but you won’t find that out unless you try it. If the basis for assuming a baby product is a unitasker is its price and the fact the baby grows out of it, well then most baby products are unitaskers per definition, including the stroller which is the point of contention in the most recent post.

  35. posted by Jen on

    I love idea of the wounded parent furiously crafting an angry message board post because Erin dared to mock their baby bucket bath.

    It’s an expensive plastic bucket that many parents have absolutely no use for. Also, as a habitual creeper about home improvement and hardware stores, I can tell you that you could have gone to Lowe’s and found the same basic product, plus a stool to go with it, for less than what this item is being retailed. And that item would probably be a lot easier to repurpose once your little one grew out of it.

    For me, unitasker posts are about thinking about items and tools in the broader picture. It’s about making fun of our strange world in which the line between necessity and convenience is continually being skewed by people who want your money.

    For example, I’d love to get a Rhoomba. I don’t need it, but I think it’s awesome and it would make my life more convenient. But, I can also see the inherent silliness in a product like a Rhoomba.

    So, in summary, chill out people. It’s just a plastic bucket.

  36. posted by Karin on

    OK I do get the £££ for a bucket thing, but … I did love our Tummy Tub. I was terrified of bathing a newborn, I am very clumsy, and this was much more manageable for me than the big bath or a standard baby bath. Both my kids loved being immersed up to their necks in warm water upright – it did seem to help with colic and general screaminess, and was very quick to get ready as it really doesn’t take much water. The kids are 4 and 3 now and it’s still very handy for storing the bath toys, and also works as a sick bowl if they’re poorly.

    So, yeah, as a confident experienced mother I wouldn’t buy one now, but can’t really put it in the same category as most of the unitaskers …

  37. posted by Pieter on

    My wife and I got one of these for free from my wife’s health insurance company. We also have a normal baby bath, but using that is pure hell. Both my twin boys cry in the normal bath, plus it’s really quite uncomfortable to keep them in place (they squirm a lot). In the tummy tub they’re really relaxed, don’t cry at all and they don’t squirm.

    I thought this thing was total **** too, until we tried it. Price is quite steep,though (hurray for my wife’s health insurance)…

  38. posted by Nichole on

    As a mother of 4 with number 5 on the way I received my first tummy tub as a gift from my mid-wife. BEST baby gift I have EVER received! All of my babies LOVED it from the moment they had their first bath after being born (the hospital I delivered at uses them) until I told them that they were unfortunately too big to still use it. It is smooth inside with no seams and rounded unlike a regular bucket wich makes it nice for soft children’s skin. My 3 year old was sad and scared in a regular bath tub until she finally out grew it and was forced to take a bath in the “big people tub”. When we are not using the tummy tub for a bath for my 2 year old son we use it to store toys under the bathroom sink (it fits PREFECT under there! I have always wondered where people store their rectangle bath tubs.), I use it to soak my feet and legs in all the time (I LOVE that My legs can get some soaking at the same time as my feet with out having to take a bath!) , we have even used it camping to wash our dishes in. I LOVE my tummy tub and would gladly spend the money to buy another one if the need ever came around! THANK YOU MAKERS OF THE TUMMY TUB YOU ARE AMAZING!

  39. posted by Shelly on

    It looks interesting and I can see why a baby may be more comfortable in it. However, the price is too much. Ebay has it listed as BUY NOW for $199.99!!!!

  40. posted by Nichole on

    There is also a buy it now for $62.40 so don’t just jump to the highest price Shelly. Besides there are plenty of other places to get it, like amazon where it is even less than the lowest price on ebay.

  41. posted by Smokie on

    This looks very dangerous.

  42. posted by Cynthia C. on

    Normally, I get a great kick out of these. But just having my first, and very independent, baby, the minute I saw this bucket I went in search of one just like it, but with a much lower price.

    Why you ask? My son sat up really early, would NOT bathe unless he was sitting up. So, it took my husband holding him so he wouldn’t fall while one of us was washing. Seriously, no bathing without two people.

    Some of e buckets I found were hard on the edges, but I finally found one made to hold ice and drinks for $14. My son loved it! He’d slash and kick while I washed, with one hand always on him, it was perfect. Although it’s longer design gave way to him swaying one way or another, we made-do.

    So, in short (ok, too late for that), I seriously consider the fact that the inventor was probably a mom with a kid that really needed this product. All products/solutions I’ve found may have been super specific, but I’ve always found a big fan within at least one of my mom groups. Cheers to those moms who share their solutions!

  43. posted by Christie on

    This tummy tub is especially soothing to babies born drug-addicted. As a foster parent, I know of many people that use these as a way to help their babies keep calm and regulated. I can totally see how it looks like a uni-tasker bucket, but it is shaped differently, and it does have function after the child is too big (see barf bowl comment above). 🙂

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